Welcome To Daily In Christ Devotionals

Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not
wander from your commandments! I have stored up your
word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Looking Through The Eyes Of Eternity

Rom 5:3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; Rom 5:4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; Rom 5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Getting through difficult times can be quite a challenge. Sleepless nights, stress and anxiety, frustration... it can really begin to take it's toll on me sometimes. But God is faithful. He will see me through the most difficult times that Satan and the world can throw my way.

Recently I have been thrust into a pretty difficult situation and in the beginning it seemed as if the outcome was going to be quite devastating. But the more I endure the difficulty the more I am able to see God's hand working moment by moment.

Numerous times throughout the day my thoughts gravitate toward something that relates to this circumstance. My life has been impacted greatly and the outcome will last for years. In it all, I have found comfort in Jesus. He has blessed me numerous times, giving me the needed strength and support at just the right moment. He has put people into my path to encourage me, He has lifted my spirits by allowing me to worship him even in times of need. He has never left my side.

I am currently reading through a book entitled "In Christ." It is a book written as a daily devotional with teachings from God's Word about living a life full of Christ. It not only has applicable scripture to daily living in Christ, but wraps them up in a nice package that is practical and insightful.

Without His hand on my life I know things would be different. I am beginning more and more to look at life through eternal eyes and not focus so much on the temporary problems at hand. "Eternal Perspective." When my focus is off of me and my problems and on Him and His provision, I am able to wade through the rivers that flow across my path much easier. I still get my feet wet, a little, but God is always there to help me to keep from drowning.

Eph 3:13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.
Eph 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
Eph 3:15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,
Eph 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
Eph 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 3:18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
Eph 3:19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

God is doing a good work in our lives and I know that it has a purpose and the purpose is good. Tribulation brings perseverance, perseverance proven character, and proven character brings hope. Not necessarily a hope for things of this world to go as I see fit, but a hope of things to come. A hope for eternal glory that far out weighs the burdens of today. Christ wants me to look at my life and see the big picture, the eternal picture.

Not just focusing on what is, but what He has promised is to come. To comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge...

Lord help me to see your face in the midst of my tribulations and struggles. I want to know you and I want to have an eternal perspective that helps me overcome not only my current situation, but the ones to come. I long to be a man of character who seeks you always and know that in all of my trials you are using it for my good. Thanks for being an awesome God.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Grace Chapel Message

I wanted to share a sermon message I came across a while ago that really made an impact on my life as a Christian. It is from Grace Chapel church in Leipers Fork Tennessee and is presented by Steve Berger the founding pastor of the church.

The teaching is from the book of Revelation and is regarding the letter to the church at Smyrna.

If you have 45 minutes and are looking to hear a message that will take you to a place of understanding trials and persecution then I encourage you to listen in... You will be glad you did.

God Bless


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hope During Difficult Times

Perseverance: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

You've heard the phrases before, "stay the course," "never give up," and "keep hanging in there." But what happens when you get tired of hanging in there or the course just flat out becomes too difficult. There are times in a persons life when perseverance is all that is left, but it just seems impossible to dig deep enough to keep going.

Every time I begin to feel this way I turn to God for strength and encouragement. Even though the path may seem difficult, I rest in the assurance that there is a Being far greater that me who walks along side me during times of affliction. He loves me, and in spite of the fact that others may fall away, He will be there through it all.

Psa 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Rom 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

2Co 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

As I read the scriptures I am filled with a comfort that can only come from God. He reveals to me His love and that allows me to weather the storm just a little bit better. As I reflect on some of my struggles in life, I am also reminded of those around us who have troubles of there own. Not to minimize my own hardships, but in light of someone else's struggles, there are times when my difficulty seems less significant.

I ran into a news story several months back that really inspired me. I have thought about it many times since then and today I feel compelled to share it. Not only did I find great concern and compassion for this young boy, I was also able to look at the struggles I have gone through and find myself eager to praise God for sparing me such agony.

It is of a young Romanian boy who was severely burned in a house fire. His mother and father were both killed. I feel the urge today to share this story because I think it is important to see an example of true perseverance.


Rom 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Through The Eyes Of A Child

Mat 18:2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, Mat 18:3 and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Mat 18:4 "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Oh, the hunger of a little child. Isn't it a wonderful thing to watch a small child experience new things. Even something as basic as the wind blowing through their hair, or the sound of a roaring siren will give a small child an expression on their face as if they are discovering something for the first time.

I remember on several occasions my son saying to me when he was little, "Dad, did you know that this is the first time I have ever done this?" There is innocence and humility present in the voice of a child and Christ reminds us in the book of Matthew that in order to enter the kingdom of heaven we too must be like a child. What if, just for a moment, we could see Jesus through our childlike eyes. To put all of our preconceptions aside, laying down our pride and prejudices and looking to Him like a small child looks up to his mother or father.

Jesus wants us to set aside the "adult" things that taint our heart. He asks us to be like little children because they are humble and teachable. Not persuaded by selfish ambition or corrupted by power and greed. But longing for pure spiritual milk of the word like newborn babies, fully and completely dependent on Him for our salvation and not ourselves.

1Pe 2:2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 1Pe 2:3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

Lord, help me to see you today through the eyes of a child.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

O Wretched Man...I Need A "Do-Over"

Rom 7:19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. Rom 7:20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. Rom 7:21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. (NASB)

Have you ever opened your mouth and said something to someone that you quickly wished would have never flowed out of your mouth? Or did something that you said to yourself you would never do again? I certainly have and the outcome is generally pretty bleak. The frustration that comes from trying to do what is right and failing can be a substantial setback in our Christian walk. But there is hope for those of us that are willing to keep getting back on our feet after such a stumbling block.

Life is full of circumstances and events that we can never get back once we have done them. Unfortunately there are no un-do's, re-do's, or "do-over's" in life... But have no fear, even Paul struggled with the same problem. For the good we want to do sometimes eludes us and we find ourselves doing the very thing we ought not to do.

So what does one do when he does the very thing he ought not do? First and foremost we need to identify the very thing we are doing that we ought not be doing as sin. Romans 7:20 clearly defines it as "sin that dwells in me." Sin is the most corruptible thing. It poison's our soul and keeps us from the freedom in Christ we so richly desire. In verse 24 Paul calls himself a wretched man and asks the question, "Who will set me free from the body of this death?"

His answer comes just one verse later, "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

1Jn 2:12 I remind you, my dear children: Your sins are forgiven in Jesus' name. (MSG)

Praise be to Christ that we are forgiven. That each moment of the day is made available to us to start fresh and turn closer to Him again. Kind of like a "do-over." Turn your heart towards Him and ask Him to forgive you today of the sins that you have committed against Him and against others. He will forgive you.

Thank you Father for your forgiveness. I want to do the right thing but sometimes I choose not to. Please forgive me when I do the very thing I ought not do. Show me your ways and help me to walk in them.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Search My Heart O God

Psa 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
Psa 139:24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. (NASB)

There is a burning desire in all of us to please God. Like a child looking up to his parents, we long for Him to know our heart and to lead us in the way of righteousness. God desires this from us and is there daily to remind us of His everlasting love.

Often we stray from His path and pursue our fleshly desires and sinful nature. The psalmist is crying out to God in verse 23, "search me, O God." May we also cry out to Him daily. "Lord, search my heart, help me to see the evil and hurtful ways that are stored deep within me. Help me to be cleansed from those ways and walk in the way of righteousness."

When the hurtful ways of our heart are exposed, there can be a wake of pain and sorrow left behind us. People we love can often times be hurt or left disappointed from our actions and behaviors. The first step to reconcile relationships is to ask God to search our heart and expose those things that we do that hurt the people we come into contact with. God wants us to walk in a way as to not offend and hurt others, but many times we don't even realize our heart is wicked. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that... "The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?"

We may think that our heart is full of goodness, but we are deceiving ourselves. Look to God to open your heart today and expose the things that need to be worked on. If you have offended someone, ask them for forgiveness. If you have cheated someone, repay them. If you have hurt someone with your unkind words, tell them that you are sorry and encourage them.

Paul tells the Colossian's to "walk in Christ" and he is instructing us to do the same. Walking in Christ begins with our heart and examining the contents. There is not room for Him if it is filled with pride, self righteousness, anger, and sin. Begin cleansing your heart of these things and look to the Creator of the universe to fill it with loving kindness, humility, integrity, patience, and love. He longs for us to walk in righteousness and will equip us to do just that.

Thank you God for seeking me out. Thank you for your everlasting love and forgiveness of sins. Lord, search my heart today and show me anything unclean and hurtful. Lead me down the path of holiness today so I can be pleasing to you and to those I come into contact with today.